Preparation time: 5 hours or less
1 turkey, approx. 15 lbs.
juice of a lemon
salt and pepper
olive oil or melted butter
1/2 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
the tops and bottoms of a bunch of celery
To start, if the turkey has been refrigerated, bring it to room temperature before
cooking. If you get a frozen turkey, you will need to defrost it in the refrigerator for 3 or
4 days first. Remove the giblets and use for making stuffing.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Wash out the turkey with water. Lather the inside with the juice of half a lemon. Take a
small handful of salt and rub all over the inside of the turkey. For flavor, put in inside
the turkey a half a yellow onion, peeled and quartered, a bunch of parsley, a couple of
carrots, and some tops and bottoms of celery. Rub salt all over the outside of the turkey
(or have had it soaking in salt-water brine before starting this process). Rub either
melted butter or olive oil all over the outside of the turkey. Sprinkle pepper over the
turkey. Place turkey BREAST DOWN on the bottom of a rack over a stainless steel
roasting pan. Add several sprigs of fresh (if possible) thyme and rosemary to the outside
of the turkey. Close up the turkey cavity with either string (not nylon string!) or metal
Chop up the turkey giblets (gizzard, heart, liver). Put into a small saucepan, cover with
water, add salt. Bring to simmer for an hour or so to help make stock for the stuffing.
Put the turkey in the oven. The recommendation is cooking time of about 15 minutes for
every pound. For the 15 lb turkey, start the cooking at 400 F for the first 1/2 hour. Then
reduce the heat to 350 F for the next 2 hours. Then reduce the heat further to 225 F for
the next hour to hour and a half.
To test for doneness, remove the turkey from the oven. Use a meat thermometer to
measure the temperature of the turkey. The dark meat in the thigh should be about 185
F. The white meat in the breast should be 165 F to 170 F. If you don’t have a meat
thermometer, spear the breast with a knife. The fluid should be clear, not pink.